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Who is Australia’s best opening batsman? The top Aussie openers of all time

03 Jan 2024
Jeremy Darke 03 Jan 2024
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  • Who is Australia's best opening batsman?
  • Aussiebets ranks their top 5 openers of all time
  • How to compare the best Aussie openers?
David Warner
David Warner walks out on the SCG in his final test as Australia's opening batsman. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Who is Australia’s best opening batsman? The top Aussie openers of all time

With the departure of David Warner as the opening batsman in the summer of 2023-24, it is time to see where ‘The Bull’ ranks in the best-ever list of openers for Australia.

This is not an easy task to compare batters over long generations as the game and its environment develop over time with pitch conditions, equipment and balls changing over the past century. But hey, that’s the fun of it.

#5 David Warner

What makes Warner creep into the top 5 ahead of some of the other great opening batsmen is his strike rate of 70.27. 

As an opener patience is often the key, however, it was never really the case for Warner and his ability to entertain the crowd in the five-day game is incomparable, as the only Australian to have a better strike rate in the modern long form of the game was Adam Gilchrist, who often batted down the order.

D A Warner*2011-1112038695335*263644.5970.27

#4 Justin Langer 

If you looked at Justin Langer’s career from after the year 2000 until he retired in 2007 his numbers are almost unbeaten it such a short period. The thing with Langer was that he actually featured in the team for 7 years prior, debuting in 1993, however, he failed to make a real impression.

The turn of the century saw Langer score 6994 of his 7696 runs in what could be called the second half of his test career. His late blooming was spectacular and that is why he will always be remembered as one of the greats.

J L Langer1993-20071051827696250233045.2754.23

#3 Bob Simpson

Simpson will forever be known as a great, despite also being remembered as not being able to reach the triple-figure milestone as much as he probably should have. 

Making his Debut in 1957, it took Simpson 30 tests before he got his first hundred and he only made it there 9 times in the 62 tests that he played. Despite falling often before his 100, Simpson was one of the most consistent batsmen that played the game, over the two decades he featured in the Aussie team, averaging 46.81 and scoring 4869 runs.

R B Simpson1957-1978621114869311102746.82-

#2 Bill Lawry

Lawry was Simpson’s partner in crime and will always be remembered as one of Australia’s best-ever captains and also as one of the best-ever cricket commentators post-retirement.

Lawry was known to be the hardest batsman to get out in his time, often being called ‘the corpse’ as he was always at the crease.  The left-hander scored 5234 runs in just 67 tests with 13 hundreds, scoring his first triple-figure score in his second test at Lord’s.

W M Lawry1961-1971671235234210132747.15-

#1 Matthew Hayden

Millions of middle-aged men step out onto the backyard at Christmas time and see themselves as the great Mathew Hayden walking out at the MCG on Boxing Day. 

Hayden had every Aussie glued to the TV every time he was at the crease as he piled on his 8625 runs in 103 Tests for Australia. 

The miraculous part of Hayden’s career was the similarities with Justin Langer, his opening partner. Once both players met at the crease for the opening ball of the dead-rubber in the 2001 Ashes, their lives changed and they became the best opening partnership that Australia had ever seen, as the pair put their slow-starting test careers behind them and led the Aussies to many heroic match victories.

M L Hayden1994-20091031848625380302950.7460.11

*All statistics provided by howstat.com

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